Force to lean SA coach
NEWS: South African Dave Wessels has been appointed the new head coach of the Western Force.
Wessels, who took over in a interim capacity when Michael Foley was sacked midway through the season earlier this year, has been appointment for the next two seasons.
Wessels is appointed head coach on the recommendation of the Western Force's Coach Selection Panel, which included senior management from both the Force and the Australian Rugby Union.
The 33-year-old Wessels has been coaching at the elite level for nine years, including four seasons with the Force and one at the helm of the Perth Spirit - whom he took all the way to the grand Final in the 2014 National Rugby Championship.
"This opportunity is an amazing privilege, not only because I love the game of rugby but also because I am so passionate about the Force and the people of Perth," Wessels said.
"What we want to do going forward is develop a fantastic learning environment that people want to be a part of and that embraces the unique pioneering spirit that Western Australians will be proud of.
"Our two kids were born here and we feel very much a part of this community, so to be able to play a significant role in the sporting landscape here is a real honour."
The Western Force General Manager, Mark Sinderberry says the appointment of Wessels is the right decision for the future of the club.
"The panel reviewed a number of strong candidates, but it was decided that Dave [Wessels] was the right man to take this club forward," Sinderberry said.
"Firstly, he is a man that holds dearly the values of the game of rugby, which is critical to allow the club to move forward, to fully embrace our rugby community and our passionate fan base.
"Secondly, we want to be known as a club where players develop and ultimately become better rugby players and better people, and we need a program to do so, which is where Dave excelled in the interview process.
"He has the full support of the playing group and has already developed strong relationships on which he can now build. What stands out most though is Dave's passion for the game of rugby and this club. The fact that he had offers from other Super Rugby franchises, but decided to put his heart and soul into this job speaks volumes about the character and drive he possesses."
Wessels began his professional coaching career as a consultant for the Stormers in the 2008 season.
A year later he took on the assistant coaching role at the University of Cape Town (Ikeys), winning the Varsity Cup and the Western Province League competition for the first time in 37 years.
After 11 years in Cape Town, he moved to the Brumbies in 2012 as their defence consultant. Under his guidance, they went on to have the second best defensive record in Super Rugby.
However, it was in 2013 that he was lured west and appointed defence consultant for the Force, and later Senior Assistant coach for 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons.